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Page last updated at 18:36 GMT, Sunday, 3 October 2010 19:36 UK

Win over Arsenal was for Carlo Ancelotti - Ray Wilkins


Players won it for Ancelotti - Wilkins

Chelsea assistant boss Ray Wilkins said the players' effort in the 2-0 win over Arsenal showed their determination to win for manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Ancelotti took charge of the game at Stamford Bridge, four days after the death of his father Giuseppe.

"You can see from the work ethic of the players how much they wanted to win it for him," said Wilkins.

"We weren't at our best but you can see the effort, and all in all I thought it was a fantastic performance."

Chelsea's hard-fought victory came courtesy of goals from striker Didier Drogba and Brazilian defender Alex.

However, for long periods Arsenal were the better side, but the Gunners rarely tested home keeper Petr Cech, who made two good saves from shots from Andrey Arshavin in the first half and substitute Tomas Rosicky late in the second.

"Arsenal are one of the teams who scare me because they have the ability to take the ball and keep it," admitted Wilkins. "I'm glad to get this out of the way and claim the three points."

We were not rewarded for our performance. People will say Arsenal lost three big points but there are things to build on in the longer term, and I believe we have a bright future

Arsene Wenger

Drogba's goal - a neat, near-post finish from Ashley Cole's cross five minutes before half-time - was his 13th in 13 games against the Gunners.

"Didier is a fantastic player, a world-class striker," added Wilkins. "If you give him an opportunity he will score.

"And it's not just against Arsenal, he scores against everybody.

"Also he is the best forward I have ever seen for coming back and defending."

Alex sealed the win in the 85th minute with a thunderbolt of a free-kick from 30 yards.

"Alex has that in his locker. He practices that, he doesn't just go out there and hit it," said Wilkins.

The win takes Chelsea four points clear at the top of the Premier League table, with Manchester City - who beat Newcastle 2-1 earlier on Sunday - in second place on 14 points and their closest challengers from last season, Manchester United, a point further behind in third.

This result, and the 2-0 win over Marseille in the Champions League on Wednesday, go some way towards making amends for the 1-0 league defeat at Manchester City last weekend and the 4-3 Carling Cup loss to Newcastle on 22 September.

The defeat against a City side who are tipped to challenge for the title this year, ended their 100% start to the league campaign.

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"We failed in our first test at Manchester City and the lads were distraught at that," said Wilkins. "We put that right against Marseille and today we've put in a fantastic performance.

"Last year, I think we were 11 points clear and Manchester United clawed all that back. There's a lot of football to play. We must remain consistent and keep winning games."

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was disappointed to have lost the game, but felt he and his players could take positives away from their performance.

"We missed two chances in the first half and it went on like that, missing chance after chance," said Wenger.

"For the first goal, it was a 100% foul [by Ramires] on Alex Song and I couldn't understand how that could be missed. After we made a defensive mistake and Drogba took advantage of that, we didn't defend well.

"It's important to get to half-time at 0-0. I believed in the second half we would completely take over this team.

"We were not rewarded for our performance. People will say Arsenal lost three big points but there are things to build on in the longer term, and I believe we have a bright future."

The result leaves fourth-placed Arsenal seven points behind Chelsea and means they have taken only four points from four games on the road this season.

"We have to respond quickly and not make mistakes like we made today," admitted Wenger.

"It is a big gap [between Arsenal and leaders Chelsea] but it is not decisive. I believe they will drop points.

"Let's win the next game and not dwell too much. I believe we have quality and we just need to be a bit more effective in the final third, defensively and offensively."

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see also
Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal
03 Oct 10 |  Premier League
Arsenal finishing worries Wenger
03 Oct 10 |  Arsenal
Premier League as it happened
03 Oct 10 |  Football
Sunday's football photos
03 Oct 10 |  Football
Grieving Ancelotti to attend game
30 Sep 10 |  Chelsea
Chelsea back on track - Ancelotti
28 Sep 10 |  Europe

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